Damages Measure of damages. The Queen's Bench Division held the that the cause of the fracture of the cistern and the consequent escape of water over the weekend in the building owned by the claimants was not the ground-borne vibrations caused by the collapse at the London Stock Exchange in 2005 which was due to the consequence of its negligence in overloading the floor slab by the defendants.
Contract Termination. The Technology and Construction Court considered a dispute concerning a contract under which the defendant company had provided repair and maintenance services to the claimant company's housing stock. It held that, among other things, the claimant's construction of the contract with regard to levels of minimum acceptable performance and profit performance threshold was to be preferred.
Contract Sale of properties. The Chancery Division dismissed, in its entirety, the claimant's claim that the defendant, his brother, had been bound by an agreement to pay him the proceeds of the sale of houses, which had been repossessed from the claimant, and which the defendant had subsequently purchased and sold. The court held that there had been no agreement as alleged by the claimant and that the defendant did not hold the properties on trust for him.
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Commercial Court ruled that the fact that the first defendant had settled a claim against him alleging fraud, amongst other things, did not prevent the second and third defendants from claiming a contribution from him, as was clear from of the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978. However, the facts alleged in the particulars of claim which accused the first defendant of fraud and other wrongdoing were no longer facts in issue in the proceedings since the case had been settled and as the second and third defendants had failed to advance such a case, and given a fatal flaw in the draft contribution notice, they were refused permission to bring a claim against the first defendant for a contribution. Further, the court ruled that a defendant in a fraud case could be entitled to a freezing injunction against a co-defendant. However, as permission to bring a contribution claim had been refused, there was no prospective judgment which the first defendant might thwart, and, accordingly, the second defendant's application for a freezing injunction against the first defendant was refused.
Contract Breach. The Privy Council dismissed the appellant's appeal against, among other things, a decision that a clause in a lease of part of a resort, granted by the appellant to the respondent, did not restrict the respondent's right to claim damages for breach of contract. It held that, absent any indication in the wording of the clause in the context of the lease as a whole that the 'penalty fee' was to be in substitution for common law damages for breach of contract, the fee would be construed as an additional charge on the occurrence of an interruption caused by a breach of contract.
Contract Construction. The Privy Council dismissed an appeal regarding the proper interpretation of a clawback agreement entered into between an investment management company and a company that provided it with investment advice. The judge had erred in his construction of the terms of the agreement as they related to the right of the plaintiff to exercise its rights of clawback against investments which it had retained out of discretionary fees payable to the defendant in respect of earlier years.
Local authority Land. The Chancery Division allowed the claimant company's application for an order to compel specific performance of a charge on property which the claimant had purchased. The defendant company had refused to execute a planning agreement under of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to further the development of the land. The court held that the defendant had no real prospect of successfully defending the claim for specific performance of its obligations under the charge.
Contract Damages for breach. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the claimant's appeal against the judge's decision that the defendant was entitled to recover spread costs for a period of delay caused by the claimant's breach of contract. The language of the exclusion clause in the contract in LOGIC form was clear and was apt to exclude liability for wasted costs in the form of the spread costs which the defendant sought to recover.
Bankruptcy Appeal. The Chancery Division dismissed the applicant's appeal against a bankruptcy order. It held that, among other things, in making the order the deputy district judge had been right in finding that the respondent company had acted reasonably in rejecting the applicant's offer to secure the debt.
Contract Construction. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed defendant sellers' appeal concerning the construction of a contractual time limit for the making of warranty claims, pursuant to a share purchase agreement. In preferring a narrower interpretation of the relevant clause, it upheld the judge's decision in favour of the claimant buyer that its claim did not fall foul of the time limit.